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Gardens devoid of life

Yet again Chelsea is showing gardens that remind me of building sites, maybe not so muddy but as hideous. Chelsea tries to make me feel really old-fashioned and out of date but I'm not. It's just that I like flowers - real ones. I like colour. I like stems and leaves too. I don't know why we have to have steel structures to symbolise something. Why lay down astro-turf and add dull metal. Why plain old timber when real trees could take it's place? What's wrong with a great cottage garden full of beautiful flowers? I find the trendy gardens depressing and lifeless.



  • Paul NPaul N Bearsted, KentPosts: 300

    Mrs Evans, You just don't get it , do you? And neither do I.

  • Mrs EvansMrs Evans Posts: 3

    Nicely summed up.

  • LilyanneLilyanne Posts: 21

    What you will find with trendy gardens, is that they are pretty much very quick to put together. The gardens that you and I love will take many years of attention and hard work to establish. 

    The way I feel about a great garden, is that it is somewhere you can relax in your spare time or potter when you have 30 minutes, or stroll through when you have not much time at all. It doesn't matter how that garden is constructed, so long as you get pleasure out of it.

  • CalendulaCalendula Posts: 69

    But flowers drop petals and require deadheading. Leaves need sweeping up. Trees need support and pruning. Real soil leads to <shudder> real weeds and real pests and diseases. We can't be doing with all that WORK in our outdoor rooms can we, when all we want to do is open the Bolly and show them off to our neighbours?

  • happymarionhappymarion Posts: 4,591

    Ah, there does not seem to be an oportunity for gardeners like me who just love gardening itself to show our wares at Chelsea.  Perhaps a little cinema or an outdoor screen showing walks through gardens brimming with blossom would do it




    Here are two pictures from my garden taken in the rain which has just started.

  • Paul NPaul N Bearsted, KentPosts: 300

    It's like comparing Tracey Emin soiled bed sheets with a Leonardo da Vinci drawing. The pseuds rave over the former whilst the rest of us appreciate and enjoy the latter. Not all Chelsea gardens are not to my taste and a few are excellent. But.... 

  • LilylouiseLilylouise Posts: 1,013

    Lovely photos happymarion image

    Pam x

  • Katie BlueKatie Blue Posts: 13

    I think the trend for "minimal" style gardening is driven not just by design but by the fact that houses and therefore gardens are getting smaller, our living spaces are shrinking and will continue to do so as world population grows. How many long victorian gardens I remember so well from my childhood have been divided in half and built on? If these new gardens are seen as an extension of the house, an outdoor room then the emphasis is on the look rather than the plants. My local garden centre is full of dwarf plants, flowers and shrubs suitable for small gardens. Its actually hard to get a rambling rose or a wisteria, anything "old fashioned" . Modern hybrids have their uses but our chioices as gardeners are getting more limited every year and many of our heritage plants are dying out. Chelsea showcases the best of gardeners and the best of the new breed, sometimes its still style over content and economics over ecology. But all the designers work for months, sometimes all year, planning and growing for their gardens whatever we think of the end result. we still see some amazing and diverse gardens at Chelsea, so perhaps all is not lost just yet...!

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    One of the trends in this years show, possibly the main trend, is a trend towards naturalism.

    A few years ago it was hard to find a wildlife garden at Chelsea. They were considered untidy. Naturalistic gardens may lack colour, but they support more life than any other type of garden. And there seems to be widespread desire to bring 'the countryside' into town gardens.

    Some gardens which are full of colour are actually dead, in terms of the life they support.

    The title of this thread is 'Gardens devoid of life'. There are a lot of gardens at this year's show that are devoid of life. But there are many that are struggling to bring life into our gardens. This does seem to be the trend.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    I generally find Chelsea to be tiresome, but was struck this year by a lot of the naturalistic plantings, in a good way! I like the idea of gardens being an extension of our countryside. I live in Devon, and the hedgerows at the moment are glorious. I agree that lack of space is an issue for a lot of people, but there are some very good innovative ideas around - I'm thinking of the Square Foot Gardening approach which has been mentioned a couple of times on this board, and Rachel De Thame waxed lyrical about last night. I am finding more and more that the stylised designer gardens leave me completely cold.
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